On The Road: Mazda 6
Hey everyone, I’m Roger Gray and welcome to this week’s new car review.
I have been a fan of Mazda’s lineup of cars, and general design philosophy for years.
In a time when so many cars from Asian manufacturers looked, well, cookie-cutterish, the cars from Mazda went their own way.
And it wasn’t just design, but the concepts themselves. Toyota and Subaru would not have teamed up on a little two seat sports car if Mazda hadn’t taken a risk with the Miata all those years ago.
And now, look at this beautiful Mazda 6. This lovely Crystal Blue model hasn’t changed much from the deep red one I drove about a year ago.
And the shape has aged like fine wine, or good whiskey, or Sophia Loren. All of which sounds like a pretty good weekend, actually.
Back to the car. You know years ago, when it came to Japanese workmanship, there was Toyota, and then everyone else.
But climb into this little Mazda 6 and you’ll find the whole thing is screwed together like the proverbial Swiss watch.
And speaking of fine running objects, the power-plant of this lovely sedan will surprise you.
The 2.5-lier twin-cam engine is willing enough, but it’s a little shy on the horsepower side compared to its rivals, cranking out only 184 eager ponies.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t slow hitting 60 in 7.4-seconds, but to be perfectly honest, that image of absolute perfection will end the moment your foot taps the go-pedal.
A turbo-diesel comes soon, but for now, this is it. Most of the competitors for the 6 have just that, a V6 as an option. But with the car getting 28 city, 38 highway with its 6-speed automatic, you do get a consolation prize.
And the beauty continues inside, as the interior has been completely redone. Not too gimmicky, not too boring. One failing of Mazdas in the past was the quality of their materials inside. No issue here as new soft-touch plastics and cushy leather make it a lovely place to spend a little quality time.
On the road, OK, the love affair starts again the first time you take a corner and the car sticks like it’s 19-inch wheels are dipped in Crazy Glue.
For right at $30,000, every conceivable option is standard, including the two most useless pieces of technology in existence…rain sensing wipers and paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
A nice 6-speed is available if you want to shift, and you’ll know it’s raining when you see water on the windshield.
All in all, the Mazda 6 is my absolute, hand-down favorite of the Japanese entries in this class. It has more soul and personality than most any of the others.
And like Sophia, it’s only gotten better with age.
That’s our road test, I’m Roger Gray and I’ll see you on the road.